Mysterious, All Right

Because I said so!Not be be confused with a song by U2, there’s a hymn dating from 1774 by William Cowper, “God Moves in s Mysterious Way,” and I’m not sure if it’s possible to have penned a more accurate statement. I can’t figure God out, no matter how much time I spend thinking about it. Mysterious, indeed!

I know, I know… Why does He do this? That? The other thing? In the Book of Isaiah (Chapter 55, verses 8 and 9), we read: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD. As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my ways above your ways and my thoughts above your thoughts.” Furthermore, in the Book of Job, Chapters 38-42 are one long rant to Job by God to Job detailing God’s omniscience and Job’s lack thereof. So, I’ve been hearing that all my life. But that doesn’t stop my thinking about it.

Of course, I’d rather have a God that I can’t figure out than one I can. “Oy vey, I wish God were more like Aunt Jean!” is something I can’t imagine saying. (Even if my Aunt Jean is more of what I imagine Jesus to be like than anyone else I know.) It’s a lot easier to deal with a God who is love, and the definition of all that is good and holy, and has our best interests at heart than one like, say, Zeus or Apollo.

I’m always reading a variety of things that run the gamut from romance novels to theology. (If that’s not running the gamut, I no longer understand the definition of that phrase.) I have lots of interests, spend time in nature, and know a great many people. Maybe I just spend more time pondering than other people do, but the littlest things will have me considering the workings of the Almighty.

Oh, I’m not talking about the old, routine, “Why does a good God permit evil?” question. The answer is right there. He permits it. That’s entirely different from liking it. He obviously didn’t create robots!

I’m more inclined to think things like, “God, what’s Your plan for me? Am I doing this life right? If I am, or even if I’m not, can You give me a sign?” Another thought is, “God, why do You not smite the wicked? I understand free will, but why wait until after their death to make them pay?” How about, “I’m a nice person, God, why do I have to suffer? I’m failing to see the larger picture here. I’m a little weak in the trust area about this.”

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What’s with that Abraham?

Sarah Presenting Hagar

I’ve been doing some Bible reading in the book of Genesis about Abraham and Sarah. In case you’re interested exactly what I’m referencing, it’s Genesis, Chapter 16, verses 1-4. In this story, Sarah has figured enough is enough, and so she tells Abraham to go ahead and have sex with her maid, Hagar. (Just for the record, Hagar’s first name was NOT Sammy!)  We read elsewhere in Genesis that Abraham was the friend of God. Get that: friend. Not sometime acquaintance. And for Abraham, his faith was accounted to him as righteousness.

But what we do not read is that Abraham put up a fight about this. I don’t understand that. Well, actually I do understand that. But I don’t like it. How is it that a God-respecting man like Abraham feels like it’s okay to just dip his wick in anywhere he can get some? And yes, I do understand the cultural mores of the time. (There’s plenty of interesting stories in the book of Genesis that you’ll never see on a felt board!)

I’m sure to get some flack on this from somebody–probably somebody who’s never read my blog before and doesn’t know me from Adam. Now’s there’s another man who didn’t do what was right, either. The chicks always get blamed!

There are two related articles below. The first is a good one. The second is just ludicrous!

And, to give credit where credit is due, the image above is a detail from the painting by Adriaen van der Werff entitled “Sarah Presenting Hagar to Abraham”.

Related Articles

  • Waiting on God to Act: The Story of Sarah and Hagar (crazygodchick.wordpress.com)
    (This is a really great article. I like this lady because she thinks like me.)
  • The Birth of Ishmael. (greatriversofhope.wordpress.com)
    (This is a dreadful article, full of just the most nonsensical interpretive comments! I DO NOT UNDERSTAND what version of the Bible this guy is reading to get these things!)

Feast Day of Saint Harriet

MomYay! Today is the feast day of Saint Harriet! I’m sure, without her constant intercession, I’d be even more of a degenerate than I already am.

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My life has never been the same

B Dalton Southtown 

Wow, what can I say? Twenty-four years ago tomorrow at 9:20 p.m. was the day my life changed forever—but I didn’t realize it at the time. This picture shows where it happened: B. Dalton Bookseller, Southtown Mall, Fort Wayne, Indiana. I was working at the time at the Merle Norman Cosmetic Studio, and this bookstore was where my own personal bookseller, Roger, worked (sort of like a personal shopper, but much better). It was after the mall closed at 9:00 p.m. and I had headed down that way to meet him after work. And then it happened! We were standing behind the Sidney Sheldon display (just to the right of center in this photograph) and Roger, always the perfect gentleman, asked if he could kiss me. And from the moment of our first kiss, my life has never been the same.

Gentlemen, if any of you are reading this post, I tell you from the bottom of my heart: women want to be treated like ladies. I had been kissed by many men before, and I’ve been kissed by many men since then (but no more—these lips are taken—by the man who kissed them that night), but when this man asked if he could kiss me, I was utterly smitten. How could I refuse? And it was wonderful . . . and it is wonderful. Roger, I love you.

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Blessed art thou amongst women . . .

loveletter1Usually, of course, that greeting is reserved for the Virgin Mary, but no more . . . Because now I am truly blessed amongst women!

Sure, you say, what’s with that? Well, I’ll tell you. It’s because I have the utterly delicious privilege of being able to carry, on my person, love letters from the man who carrys my heart with him always. Oh, being able to take it out and read it, and feel that love from across the miles–there is nothing so wonderful. And what’s even better is that I can read it over and over again, and put it under my pillow, and take it out, and carry it, and read it and re-read over and over again. Well, I think you get the idea . . .

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Why do I do the things that I hate?

This just dropped from nowhere this morning:

Why do I do the things that I hate
And hate the things that I do?
Why do I bother to promise myself
That to Jesus I’ll always be true?
When it’s obvious from all my actions
Or lack of, or even my thoughts
That the person I care about pleasing
Is myself–what a terrible thought!
I pray to the Savior to save me
From temptation, and even myself;
But it’s clear that I really don’t mean it
For my purity sits on a shelf
Like a thing that I greatly admire
But cannot in essence be mine.
I repeat to myself that I want it
And whisper to Jesus Divine,
“Oh my Savior, I beg You to help me,
I find myself falling so fast.
You’re the only one Who can now save me.
I’m begging, I’m pleading, I ask–
But You won’t take away my desires.
In fact, they are getting much worse.
I know that You hope I’ll be better
And with You I can vanquish this curse.
So even though, Jesus, I’ve faltered,
I’m coming back to You once more.
I ask You to cleanse me completely
And toss all my sins out the door.
I know by myself I can’t manage,
So please grasp my trembling hand,
And together my faults we will conquer,
‘Til before You victorious I stand!

The first two lines had been rumbling around my head for years. But this is the first time anything ever came of them. I realize it’s a little trite, but still, it really seemed  to drop out of the sky.

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